I am a huge fan of Audrey Hepburn. When I first saw Breakfast at Tiffany's I did not understand all the little nuances of her profession but I could still feel the magic of the movie. The magical character of Holly Golightly swept me up and she apparently swept up the main character of Mitchell Kriegman's novel, Being Audrey Hepburn. In this coming-of-age story, Lisbeth is a girl from New Jersey who seems to be the only responsible one in her family. Her mother is an alcoholic nurse, her sister is dropping out of college, and her younger brother is a juvenile delinquent who plays too much World of "Warcrack." Her Nan and mother do not get along and Lisbeth is a lot more like her Nan than anyone else in her family. They both love Audrey Hepburn and Lisbeth escapes her world by holing up in her closet and watching Hepburn's movies, mostly Breakfast at Tiffany's.
When her best friend Jess, offers Lisbeth the chance to try on Audrey's dress from the opening scenes of Breakfast at Tiffany's, she jumps at the chance and finds herself on page six in the dress, effectively putting her on everyone's radar including her new friend, pop star, Tabitha. She takes her Nan's maiden name and creates a new persona for herself among the Upper East Siders as Lisbeth Dulac, and she starts a fashion blog with Jess's help.
In the end she finds out more about her Nan's past, helps her family climb out of the hole they've dug for themselves, and discovers who she is. Along the way she makes new friends and enjoys her time in the limelight, basing her second personality on Audrey Hepburn's charm and wit.
If you are a fan of Audrey Hepburn, this book is for you. There are so many references and allusions to Hepburn's movies. The "mean reds" are used blatantly. My favorite part is when Lisbeth and a friend quotes Breakfast at Tiffany's about her being a "phony. But a real phony." I found the basic plot line of this novel fairly predictable, although there was one twist that I did not see coming but loved. This twist involved Nan but I won't say anything more about that because if you're intrigued you'll have to read the book for yourself. However, the predictability did not bore me. There was too much going on for me to be bored. Subplot A was fairly predictable, while Subplot B with her cover personality was one turn after another and kept me intrigued like a car accident on the side of the road.
This book explores the way celebrities live, with their parties, drugs, alcohol, several actual celebrities are mentioned by name and there is even a cameo appearance of what I believe is Liam Payne from the boy band, One Direction. The character of Lisbeth explores how easy it could be to become one of these people, but as she discovers everyone's a phony in some way and no one can keep pretending to be something they're not forever.
I did enjoy learning a lot about Audrey Hepburn that I didn't know. For instance, the Givenchy dress she wears in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's, is not the original dress Givenchy designed for the character of Holly Golightly. The orignal dress had a hip high slit. Or there's the fact that the role of Princess Anne in Roman Holiday was originally intended for Elizabeth Taylor. This book has so much of Hepburn's wit and charm and Lisbeth is endearing just the way Audrey is in all of her movies.
If this book sounds good to you, I'd suggest you pick it up at your nearest bookstore or library and enjoy a fun YA Novel.
Keep on Creating,
K. A. Jairl
P.S. There is a touch of language in this book that may be offensive to some. No more than you'd hear walking through the halls of a public high school.
K. A. Jairl
My name is Kim and I'm glad you stopped by. This is where I post my triumphs and my downfalls as I fight the good fight of being a writer mom everyday.